Lobbying as in advocacy. Google thought they could get away with no political lobbying, until they learned the hard truth. MIRI is not in the same position as Google of course, but the lessons are the same: if you want to convince people, just doing good and important work is not enough, you also have to do a good job convincing good and important people that you are doing good and important work. MIRI/CFAR are obviously doing some work in this direction, like target recruiting of the bright young mathematicians, but probably not nearly enough. I suspect they never even paid a top-notch marketing professional to prepare an evaluation. I bet they are just winging it, hoping to ride the unexpected success of HPMoR (success in some circles, anyway).

Advocacy is all well and good. But I can't see the analogy between MIRI and Google, not even regarding the lessons. Google, I'm guesssing, was subjected to political extortion for which the lesson was maybe "Move your headquarters to another country" or "To make extra-ordinary business you need to pay extra taxes". I do however agree that the lesson you spell out is a good one.

If all PR is good PR, maybe one should publish HPMoR and sell some hundred copies?

2Lumifer7yActually, the first was Microsoft. Their (deliberate) ignorance of politics cost them the anti-trust investigation and the whole following mess.

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments


This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.